Shock and Circumstance

A review of Killing Daniel by Max Dunbar @3am Magazine

This is a very dark and frightening novel, told in short chapters and brief sentences, that pass like the shivers of bad dreams. Protagonist Fleur is living in an abusive relationship in Manchester: she manages to escape her scumfuck boyfriend, only to fall into a series of nasty and inconclusive one-nighters with various men picked up in Oxford Road bars. (One memorable opening gambit: ‘Have you ever fucked in a meat freezer? My kid brother’s a butcher. I’ve the keys to his shop.’) She has a counterpart in her old Japanese penpal Chinatsu, locked in an arranged marriage to the sociopathic Yugi, a businessman who is terrified of intimacy with his wife and gets his real satisfaction from the sadomasochistic domination of prostitutes. The novel follows the expected convergence and parallels.

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Shock and Circumstance.

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